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Birds

Birding Málaga

Birds

Common name Eurasian hobby
Scientific name Falco subbuteo
Type Forest birds
Status Migrator

Medium-sized raptor bird (approx 35 cm or 14 in), with a very stylized silhouette and the appearance of a small hawk. Very dark grey or brown upperparts. Underparts of white colour with a dark striate. Reddish tarsus feathers. Black moustachial stripe that stands out a lot. Dark brown head. Lighter throat and cheeks. In flight the dark and pointed wings stand out (wingspan approximately 83 cm or 32.5 in), looking very similar to a large swift.

Habitats

Woodland environment

Where it lives

Woodland species with preference for spots and not very dense edge formations. Pine forests and steppes, plains or wooded farmlands. Also present in meadows and fluvial groves. It uses open areas as hunting grounds.

How it lives

Summer species and also present during its migratory steps in the province. The Eurasian Hobby begins to breed in April. One annual laying of 3 eggs. It re-uses old nests of corvids or other raptors. Hunter of large insects, bats and small birds. This hobby is one of the few raptors capable of catching swifts in flight.

Where it can be seen in Malaga

Scarce bird and difficult to watch in Malaga. Most observations are concentrated in Sierra Alpujata (Mijas) and in the mouth of the Guadalhorce and correspond to birds in migratory passage. There are also summer observations in the wetland environment of the Costa del Sol (Marbella area) and in the mountains that border the high plain of the Guadalhorce. In the Great Path it is present in stage 32.

Curious facts

During the years of the World Cup held in Spain, a table football game called "subbuteo" became fashionable. The initial idea of the game's creative company was to call the game "hobby" but it turned out that this was the English name of this raptor (derived from the old French "hobe" or "hobet"). While they were at it, they took the decision to call the game as the surname of this little hawk, which by the way means "falcon resembling a buzzard".

Present
JanFebMarAprMayJunJulAugSepOctNovDec
Wintering Summer Resident Migration